Multilevel Inverter – Types & Advantages


The Inverter is an electrical device that converts direct current (DC) to alternate current (AC). The inverter is used for emergency backup power in a home. The inverter is used in some aircraft systems to convert a portion of the aircraft DC power to AC. The AC power is used mainly for electrical devices like lights, radar, radio, motor, and other devices.

Multilevel Inverter:

Now a day’s many industrial applications have begun to require high power. Some appliances in the industries, however, require medium or low power for their operation. Using a high power source for all industrial loads may prove beneficial to some motors requiring high power, while it may damage the other loads. Some medium voltage motor drives and utility applications require medium voltage. The multi-level inverter has been introduced since 1975 as an alternative in high power and medium voltage situations. The Multilevel inverter is like an inverter and it is used for industrial applications as an alternative in high power and medium voltage situations.

Multilevel Inverter
Multilevel Inverter

General DC-AC Inverter Circuit

The need for the multilevel converter is to give high output power from the medium voltage source. Sources like batteries, supercapacitors, the solar panel are medium voltage sources. The multi-level inverter consists of several switches. In the multi-level inverter, the arrangement switches’ angles are very important.

Types of Multilevel Inverter:

Multilevel inverters are three types.

  • Diode clamped multilevel inverter
  • Flying capacitors multilevel inverter
  • Cascaded H- bridge multilevel inverter

Diode Clamped Multilevel Inverter:

The main concept of this inverter is to use diodes and provides the multiple voltage levels through the different phases to the capacitor banks which are in series. A diode transfers a limited amount of voltage, thereby reducing the stress on other electrical devices. The maximum output voltage is half of the input DC voltage. It is the main drawback of the diode clamped multilevel inverter. This problem can be solved by increasing the switches, diodes, capacitors. Due to the capacitor balancing issues, these are limited to the three levels. This type of inverters provides high efficiency because of the fundamental frequency used for all the switching devices and it is a simple method of the back to back power transfer systems.

Ex: 5- Level diode clamped multilevel inverter, 9- level diode clamped multilevel inverter.

  • The 5- level diode clamped multilevel inverter uses switches, diodes; a single capacitor is used, so the output voltage is half of the input DC.
  • The 9- level diode clamped multilevel inverter uses switches, diodes; capacitors are two times more than the 5-level diode clamped inverters. So the output is more than the input.
5- Level Diode Clamped Multilevel Inverter
5- Level Diode Clamped Multilevel Inverter

Applications of Diode Clamped Multilevel Inverter:

  • Static var compensation
  • Variable speed motor drives
  • High voltage system interconnections
  • High voltage DC and AC transmission lines

Flying Capacitors Multilevel Inverter:

The main concept of this inverter is to use capacitors. It is of a series connection of capacitor clamped switching cells. The capacitors transfer the limited amount of voltage to electrical devices. In this inverter switching states are like in the diode clamped inverter. Clamping diodes are not required in this type of multilevel inverters. The output is half of the input DC voltage. It is a drawback of the flying capacitors multilevel inverter. It also has the switching redundancy within the phase to balance the flying capacitors. It can control both the active and reactive power flow. But due to the high-frequency switching, switching losses will take place.

EX: 5-level flying capacitors multilevel inverter, 9-level flying capacitors multilevel inverter.

  • This inverter is the same as that diode clamped multi inverter
  • In this inverter, only switches and capacitors are used.
5-Level Flying Capacitors Multilevel Inverter
5-Level Flying Capacitors Multilevel Inverter

Applications of Flying Capacitors Multilevel Inverter

  • Induction motor control using DTC (Direct Torque Control) circuit
  • Static var generation
  • Both AC-DC and DC-AC conversion applications
  • Converters with Harmonic distortion capability
  • Sinusoidal current rectifiers

Cascaded H-Bridge Multilevel Inverter:

The cascaded H-bride multilevel inverter is to use capacitors and switches and requires less number of components in each level. This topology consists of a series of power conversion cells and power can be easily scaled. The combination of capacitors and switches pair is called an H-bridge and gives the separate input DC voltage for each H-bridge. It consists of H-bridge cells and each cell can provide the three different voltages like zero, positive DC, and negative DC voltages. One of the advantages of this type of multi-level inverter is that it needs less number of components compared with diode clamped and flying capacitor inverters. The price and weight of the inverter are less than those of the two inverters. Soft-switching is possible by some of the new switching methods.

Multilevel cascade inverters are used to eliminate the bulky transformer required in case of conventional multi-phase inverters, clamping diodes required in case of diode clamped inverters and flying capacitors required in case of flying capacitor inverters. But these require a large number of isolated voltages to supply each cell.

Ex: 5- H-bridge multilevel inverter, 9- H-bridge clamped multilevel inverter.

  • This inverter is also the same as that diode clamped multi inverter.
5- H-Bridge Multilevel Inverter
5- H-Bridge Multilevel Inverter

Applications of Cascaded H-Bridge Multilevel Inverter

  • Motor drives
  • Active filters
  • Electric vehicle drives
  • DC power source utilization
  • Power factor compensators
  • Back to back frequency link systems
  • Interfacing with renewable energy resources.

Advantages of Multilevel Inverter:

The multilevel converter has several advantages, that is:

1. Common Mode Voltage: 

The multilevel inverters produce common-mode voltage, reducing the stress of the motor and don’t damage the motor.

2. Input Current: 

Multilevel inverters can draw input current with low distortion  

3. Switching Frequency:

The multilevel inverter can operate at both fundamental switching frequencies that are higher switching frequency and lower switching frequency. It should be noted that the lower switching frequency means lower switching loss and higher efficiency is achieved.

4. Reduced harmonic distortion:

Selective harmonic elimination technique along with the multi-level topology results the total harmonic distortion becomes low in the output waveform without using any filter circuit.

Photo Credit:

  • 5- Level Diode Clamped Multilevel Inverter by
  • 5-Level Flying Capacitors Multilevel Inverter by origin-ars
  • 5-H-Bridge Multilevel Inverter by power.eecss


  1. Why cascaded h bridge inverter is preferred over diode and capacitor clamped multi level inverters

    1. Tarun Agarwal says:

      Hi Saquib
      It does not require any components like capacitors, diodes for clamping, and the waveform is totally sinusoidal in nature even if you don’t filter it

  2. sir please send us a ppt on diode clamped multilevel inverter

    1. Tarun Agarwal says:

      Hi Satya
      Sorry to inform you that we cannot provide you like that

  3. This great piece of content on the role of multilevel inverter in motors. From Industrial Matrix we appreciate your work.

  4. Hii tarun sir ,now ia am in final year and we are doing a project of connecting a multilevel inveter to a dpfc can you please help me how it works and where i have to find this knowledge

  5. Dear sir,
    am doing project on dual output six switch inverter. an you help me sr?

  6. abhishek pillai says:

    hello tarun sir,
    I am final year electrical student please guide me for final year project on 9 level inverter

  7. Mounika Ch says:

    Hi sir,
    I am doing the project on “hybrid neutral point clamped flying capacitor fed Induction Motor”. I was searching for the calculation of capacitor values. Could you please help me in this regard? and also if you have the data regarding the PWM Technique for this project please send me.

  8. i need the hardware design and complete model with the components detail for 7 level multilevel inverter with reduced switches

    1. venkatesh says:

      hiiii… also want to design 7 level multilevel inverter

  9. akib mulla says:

    Hi sir, can you tell me advantagesand disadvantages of seven level inverter

  10. Hi sir, Im doing a project on solar power generation with single phase seven level inverter ,i need simulink circuit diagram and some documents can u please help me sir ..It will be help full ..please sir and how to design a rms output voltage

    1. Tarun Agarwal says:

      Hi Dilip,
      As per your requirement,We have the project.
      For more details please contact Mr.Tarun Agarwal on +91-9908208883.

  11. sandeepkumar says:

    sir please give me the very latest project on multi level inverter…if possible please send full paper to my mail.

  12. megha patel says:

    I want to know about the properly instruction for my last year project of.. 34 Multilevel inverter

  13. Emmanuel Okoro says:

    Good day Mr Tarun.

    Thanks for your material.

    Am doing a project on “Analysis of Multilevel Inverters”. Please send me materials that can help me.

  14. jyotheesh says:

    Main advantages and disadvantages of multilevel inverters

  15. Abhishek Devarakonda says:

    Short and perfect note

  16. MUHAMMAD luqman says:

    please tell me what we adopt procedure if one switch will damage in cascaded multilevel h bridge

    1. Tarun Agarwal says:

      Hi MUHAMMAD Luqman,

      Current sensing in each section of the cascaded unit of both the limbs and detect the unsymetrical wave form to trip the total circuit

  17. what are the advantages and disadvantages of multilevel inverters

      1. Dear sir
        I am doing a 3 ph five level with single pv cell with single transformer in primary side tapping , a novel method and try to use with ANN based SVPWM switching pattern .pl send me the related papers and help me in this regard,

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